by Caroline Newman

The UCLA Fowler Museum is currently exhibiting “Street Art: Photographic Elevations of Los Angeles, Paris and Berlin by Larry Yust,” which explores the often over-looked art form, graffiti, within these three prominent cities.  For the past eight years, filmmaker and photographer Larry Yust has been capturing images of urban landscapes and compositing anywhere from 70-80 photographic images to create, what he refers to as, a single “photographic elevation.”  Using this artistic technique, Yust creates a new kind of urban landscape; one that is impossible to see with the naked eye, one that cannot be reproduced, and one that can be preserved.

Yust’s images are a few feet high and around 15-20 feet in length, yielding a unique and enthralling photographic experience.  While directly facing and maintaining a constant distance from his subject, whether it is a wall, building, or fence covered in graffiti, Yust moves parallel to it, capturing many precise images.  These images are flawlessly composited to create an extremely long, horizontal, and practically 3-dimensional urban landscape. Continue reading ‘Art Preserving Art’

There has been a flurry of press coverage hailing Los Angeles as the new capital of the art world.  From Lauren A.E. Shuker’s article,”The L.A. Art Boom,” in The Wall Street Journal to Elizabeth Khuri Chandler’s article in C magazine, “Art on the Move,” the word on the street is that after decades of setting the stage, Los Angeles has reached the perfect storm of blue-chip artists, collectors, galleries, and institutions.

Here is a cheat sheet of why the L.A. art world is so hot right now:

– High-profile New York gallerist Jeffrey Deitch is now Director of MOCA

– The new Renzo Piano designed Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion at LACMA

– L & M Arts and Matthew Marks Gallery have opened Los Angeles branches

– Critical mass of important MFA programs at UCLA, USC, Pasadena’s Art Center, and Otis College of Art and Design

– Los Angeles is a center of artistic production with  a vibrant community of established international artists including John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Mike Kelley, Doug Aitken, Charles Ray, Martin Kersels, the list goes on…

– Museum boards are being reinvigorated with new members from the entertainment and tech sectors

– Pacific Standard Time, opening in October 2011, is slated to be one of the largest collaborative art institution undertakings of all time, including commercial galleries, museums, non-profit spaces, and a public art festival component.

Click here to see the Wall Street Journals‘ interactive map of some of L.A.’s hottest art spots.

Click here to see a slideshow of “Heavy Hitters in L.A.’s Art World” on the Huffington Post.

Saint-Tropez may be better known today for mega-yachts and the celebrities like Jay-Z and Beyoncé who vacation there, but it once provided subject matter for many famous artists, who spent hundreds of hours capturing the magical light of the former fishing village. Le Musée de l’Annonciade, on the southwest corner of the Vieux Port, is housed in a 16th-century chapel and showcases the evolution of painting from neo-Impressionism to the Fauves.  There was just a wonderful Modigliani show and the museum has a great program of rotating special exhibitions.  Artists represented in the permanent collection on the second floor include blue-chip examples by Signac, Vlaminck, Derain, Van Dongen, Bonnard, Matisse, and Marquet. Le Musée de l’Annonciade is a gem of a museum and well worth a visit the next time you are in Saint-Tropez, so that you can squeeze some culture into your sun-drenched holiday.

by Kelly Boyd

This Monday, Eli Broad formally announced the future location of his Broad Collection museum, bringing another cultural institution to the already busy area.  His museum will be the first building in the Grand Avenue Project, an initiative to rejuvenate the downtown neighborhood that has stalled due to the ongoing budget crisis. The museum will be designed by the New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, chosen by Broad after a private competition involving six firms.  Of the decision, Broad is quoted as saying, “We didn’t want it to clash, but we didn’t want it to be anonymous either.”  He is, of course, referring to the site’s close proximity to Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall. Continue reading ‘Broad Settles Downtown, on Grand Avenue’

by Kelly Boyd

The Petersen Automotive Museum recently opened a special exhibition titled Automotivated: Streamlined Fashion and Automobiles, showcasing the connection between early car design and fashion, covering the period from 1913 to 1938.  The show is produced in partnership with the Phoenix Art Museum and was inspired by the 2007 Phoenix Art Museum fashion exhibition Automotivated.

In the early years of the car, the passenger drove in an open cab and was exposed to the elements, necessitating that one dress for the journey and not the destination.  Floor length dusters in neutral colors accommodated the large skirts of the early 1900s and ensured that clothing was not damaged in transit. Continue reading ‘Cars and Clothing Collide at the Petersen Automotive Museum’

by Caroline Newman

Weather is not just a temperature, it is also a signifier of emotion.  Visit Saving Paradise, currently on display at the Irvine Museum, to experience the passionate connection many artists make to their natural surroundings.  The Irvine Museum is known for its incredible collection of California plein-air paintings, yet this special exhibit emphasizes the non-tangible qualities of the landscape; light and emotion. Continue reading ‘Saving Paradise @ Irvine Museum’

John Baldessari's "Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell," 1966-68. Image via The Los Angeles Times.

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty @ LACMA through  09/12/2010

This summer, LACMA has put together a long overdue retrospective of one the most influential American artists working today.  “John Baldessari: Pure Beauty,”  features more than 150 works spanning the artist’s career from 1962 to the present and includes works on canvas, photography, videos and books.  Covering a career that spans from Conceptual Art in the 1960s to appropriation art in the 80’s and beyond, the exhibit is unified by Baldessari’s interest in language and the nature of communication.  This is an exciting exhibition, and also includes a special installation that was created expressly for this retrospective.  LACMA is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 8:00 pm, Friday from noon to 9:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm. Continue reading ‘L.A. Summer Art Preview’

by Kelly Boyd

The problem of how to display art while minimizing damage to the work is one that is confronted by museums and collectors alike.  The impulse share art with others is a common one that plays out on various scales across the world.  From the largest museum to the smallest personal collection, people want to showcase those things they find to be beautiful.  However, the desire to protect these same objects is nearly as strong.  These conflicting urges create a certain tension that is inherent in the display of art.  Luckily, there are steps that can be taken by both museums and collectors to ameliorate the potential harm. Continue reading ‘Defend or Display? Exhibiting Art Without Damage’